"Of Mice and Men". The question is how does John Steinbeck tackle social issues in the novel through the use of Crooks. Includes direct quotations from the book.

Essay by Xodus22High School, 11th gradeA+, August 2002

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Of Mice and Men

In the novel, Of Mice and Men, the author, John Steinbeck, takes a strong stance against many social issues. Steinbeck voices his opinions on controversial rights such as women's rights and the treatment of migrant workers. One of the main points that Steinbeck addresses is his dislike for the treatment of African-Americans. He expresses his views through the hardship and turmoil of Crooks, the only African-American character in the novel. Crooks is looked down upon by his peers and is considered inferior by most due to the color of his skin. He is constantly harassed and beaten up by his boss and those he works with. Furthermore, Crooks is not even allowed to socialize or go into the living quarters of the other men. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, Crooks is harassed and discriminated against by his peers, forced to live in a harsh environment and loses his hope and faith for he future because of his race.

Crooks is tortured and looked down upon by the people he works with. He cannot even, "... go into the bunk house and play rummy 'cause [he] [is] black." However, once a year around Christmas time, "They let the nigger come in..." and beat up on him. Crooks is looked upon as something lower than human. He is treated with neither dignity nor respect. Furthermore, whenever the owner of the ranch is angry or upset, he takes out his anger on Crooks by beating him up. He continues to harass Crooks until his anger subsides. The boss would not be able to do this to any other person, however, he can get away with doing this to Crooks because torturing African-Americans is accepted in their society. In the eyes of his...